Social worker who put foster family at risk loses appeal

Julian Swan placed a teenage boy who had a history of inappropriate sexual behaviour with a foster family without warning the carers of the risk to other children in the household.

The troubled teenager went on to abuse two children
The troubled teenager went on to abuse two children

A former social worker who was struck off after he placed a teenage boy with a foster family without warning them about the boy’s history of inappropriate sexual behaviour has lost his appeal to re-join the register.

Julian Michael Swan, a social worker with eight years’ experience, failed to read the case file and carry out a proper risk assessment before placing the boy with the family.

He also failed to inform the foster carers of the risk, the Care Council for Wales’ (CCW) conduct committee heard last July. The teenager went on to abuse two children in the family.

Swan was removed from the social care register after being found guilty of misconduct. The conduct committee said the former Vale of Glamorgan Council employee’s behaviour fell far short of what was expected of a competent and qualified social worker.

Swan denied misconduct at the time of the hearing and later submitted an appeal to the First-tier Care Standards Tribunal, claiming his removal from the register was not a proportionate response to his actions.

However, the tribunal upheld the conduct committee’s decision.

The tribunal said: “We have concluded that the appellant is a practitioner lacking in sufficient insight, in imagination and perhaps empathy, too willing to accept unquestioningly not just what his colleagues are telling him but also too willing to accept unquestioningly what he would like to believe without an adequate scrutiny of the facts.

“In those circumstances, we concluded that protection of the public demands that a removal from the register is the only appropriate sanction, because we are not satisfied on a balance of probability that a period of suspension would adequately enable the appellant to address the issues that we have identified.”

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